In a World of Corporate-Backed Politicians, Beware the Sounds of Sirens | OpEdNews
Not surprisingly, the first–and more ruthless–of the two is Donald Trump, with full-throated support from the Republican Party leadership. His repetitive refrain of fearmongering and racist dog-whistling–all under the guise of “Making America Great Again”–lures not only the intolerant but also some who are insecure and despairing. By contrast, the second can be found within the establishment wing of the Democratic Party. Sadly, its own chorus promotes skepticism toward any progressive proposal–for example, a Green New Deal or Medicare for All–that could disrupt a status quo very favorable to the super-rich and powerful.
These two Sirens certainly don’t sing identical songs. But both rely on the same choir directors for their music: namely, the behemoths of corporate America, including Wall Street, the oil and gas industry, military contractors, health insurers, Big Pharma, and media conglomerates. That’s why we’re serenaded with “only a huge defense budget can keep us safe;” “higher taxes on the wealthy will cripple our economy;” “a single-payer healthcare system can never work here;” “climate change disaster can be averted with small steps;” “minimum wage hikes will force mass layoffs;” and other similar claims. All are broadcast far and wide, even though they lack substance and run counter to the common good.
Defenders of the billionaire class, from both sides of the aisle, also have prepared verses to advance the prospects of their don’t-rock-the-boat candidates. So we can expect to hear much of the following in the months ahead: dismissive critiques aimed at progressive leaders–young and old–whose vision and fearlessness threaten the existing order; angry condemnation of those who note troubling inconsistencies in the words and actions of so-called mainstream politicians; duplicitous efforts to label leftist reformers as out-of-touch “extremists” whose dangerous ideas won’t sell in Middle America; and overblown tributes focusing on “civility” and “bipartisanship” rather than the unflinching pursuit of justice and the public interest.
An abundant supply of wax and sturdy rope isn’t the answer for resisting the collective confusion and destruction wrought by today’s Sirens. That’s because we can’t afford to close our ears to their self-serving messages that mislead so many, nor can we afford to listen to their lies and distortions without responding. Unlike the challenge faced by Ulysses and his crew, these are voices that must be defeated, not merely escaped.